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3rd Gen HID vs LED vs Halogen H11 projector headlights

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by crashnburn80, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Jul 30, 2020 at 8:06 PM
    #2981
    SmileyGuy

    SmileyGuy Well-Known Member

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    That is good info to know and share. Thank you.

    I have thought about the OEM LED fogs with the black surround but felt the need for selective yellow. The simpler choice was to use a yellow H11 bulb to maintain the OEM look with chrome reflectors as with the headlights and light bar. The best and more expensive $200 (currently) is the Diode Dynamics SS3 Sport yellow fog and are nearly twice* as bright as the OEM halogen assembly with H11 55w bulb.

    *Because I don't know the peak candela of the yellow H11's nearly twice is an estimate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqAnYPS6obM

    From the video, the Tacoma OEM halogen wide angle assembly comes with a white H11 halogen bulb providing 3100K color and the housing projects 85 degrees wide by 12 inches high with a 5850 peak candella. Replacing the white halogen bulb for a low cost yellow H11 halogen 55 watt with 2500 - 2900K color is great option verses a replacement fog assembly. Halogen bulbs provide more heat than LED bulbs and would be beneficial in winter conditions like freezing rain and snow. Comparing to the Diode Dynamics SS3 sport yellow width and color are similar but peak candela is nearly twice* the OEM halogen assembly with one of the following inexpensive bulbs...

    $20 Hella H11 Xtreme Yellow 2900k 55W
    $19 Nokya H11 Hyper Yellow 2500k 55W

    Yellow Fog Light Review.jpg

    Looking at the OEM Toyota Halogen and the Diode Dynamics SS3 Sport Fog adding a Yellow H11 should give really good results over the white OEM halogen bulb. Diode Dynamics does top the list when it comes to performance, fitment and style with reasonable cost. Diode Dynamics video on the white fogs is equally informative and helpful. Both videos are tailored for the Toyota Tacoma.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5QAUkDtZEo

    White Fog Light Review.jpg

    Being in Canada the Diode Dynamics SS3 Sport fog are 199 USD (and free shipping in the lower 48), my price shipped is $335.37 CDN vs Hella H11 Xtreme Yellow halogen at $26.39 CDN.

    Since I have these standard H16 fog assemblies it would be best to replace them since there just for show and taking up space for something useful.
     
    MJTH, Aws123 and davidstacoma like this.
  2. Jul 30, 2020 at 9:40 PM
    #2982
    davidstacoma

    davidstacoma Well-Known Member

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    *OEM Mods: Intermittent wipers, Fogs, Keyless Entry
    Well you've certainly done some homework here. I myself have looked at the reviews for the DD SS3, and considered the sport version during the July 4 sale, but had already decided to pull the trigger on Hella Xtreme Yellows for the value. They're still in the package, will install and evaluate them against the standard white, perhaps this weekend. I will keep an eye out though for future improvements in LED automotive lighting, especially the seletive yellow (waiting on that green tint in the yellow to decrease lol), adjustability, and costs.
    If you haven't read crashburns testing review, you should drop by here, also recommend you look in the thread at other comments by those who have bought the DD SS3 selective yellows, see their pictures, etc.
    The LED SAE J583 Fog Pod & Fog Light Review
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  3. Jul 31, 2020 at 5:55 AM
    #2983
    SmileyGuy

    SmileyGuy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, to top things off I just got an offer on ebay for DD SS3 SAE/DOT Sport selective yellow fogs for 15% off. 170 + 14.88 shipping + 31.03 import fees ($300 CDN) slightly cheaper than local list of 280 CDN plus shipping and 15% taxes.
    I bought them instead of waiting for the Memorial Day sale. I won't be disappointed as seeing H16 bulb and SR5 fog housing. I did see a pair of used TRD fogs for $135 plus shipping and bulbs. Diode Dynamics have some amazing optics and complete range of products.
     
    Aws123 and davidstacoma like this.
  4. Jul 31, 2020 at 7:58 AM
    #2984
    Rainoffire

    Rainoffire Well-Known Member

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    Can't wait to see the results for the OEM LED headlights.
    Have them sitting in my cart, waiting for the results before I close the purchase.
     
  5. Jul 31, 2020 at 10:54 PM
    #2985
    Aws123

    Aws123 New Member

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    Recently picked up a pair of diode dynamics ss3 pro yellows. Super bright where you need it. Cant wait to try them out in colorado next month.
     
    SmileyGuy and crashnburn80 [OP] like this.
  6. Aug 2, 2020 at 12:35 AM
    #2986
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    OEM Tacoma LED Headlights
    These results are extremely preliminary and not the final review

    Ran into a few very minor but inconvenient setbacks, the new 3rd Gen LED headlights lack the rear tab present on the halogen lights that I used to secure and aim them on my rack. Interesting that component changed but still fit the same trucks. I did an initial test indoors but will want to come up with some better way to secure them for an outdoor distance test. I also had one of my fine power supply leads go out, so I had to hold the lead with one hand while trying to get a comparison pic with the other. This is not a complete review, the most critical measurement is the distance measurement, which was not yet tested at this time. This is just some initial data as I know many are interested.

    Beam pattern
    Right beam only pictured. The beam pattern looks to be excellent, the hot spot is right up at the cut off where it should be and the highest intensity parts of the pattern carry up near the cut off across the pattern with a very smooth and full natural blend downward.
    5706501B-35F3-4609-93E6-D59DED11D95B.jpg

    GE +130 vs OEM LED
    The GEs certainly look brighter in this picture, but the measurements say otherwise. The OEM LEDs do have uplight above the cut offs unlike Morimotos, (headlights are supposed to have mild uplight) though that uplight appears less than the halogens running performance bulbs. The OEM LEDs appear to do an great job of matching the halogen pattern in light distribution.
    8A675663-6899-43B2-ACE6-F2B93DF226BC.jpg

    Here is where it gets interesting.
    Recall the most efficient form of lighting projection technology is well designed reflector. A reflector is far more efficient than a projector, which blocks light from leaving the assembly, but the projector does have a small form factor advantage which is often why they are often used. The 3rd Gens projector headlights were a significant downgrade in performance than the massive 2nd Gen reflectors, but it allowed for more modern styling. If you look at KC's gravity series, their lights outperform the competition using a fraction of the power and lumen output because they use highly focused reflectors which are drastically more efficient. Their 8w G4 gravity fog can go toe to toe with a 22w projector based Rigid fog. While some might bash Toyota's decision to use reflector LED headlights instead of projectors, it is the higher performing more efficient technology and the better engineering design decision.

    Using a more efficient projection technology, one might expect the OEM LED headlights to draw less power than say Morimoto who which uses less efficient projectors. But they don't. They draw more. Morimotos draw 1.46A, or about 20.2w. The OEM LED headlights draw 60% more power at 2.34A, or about 32.3w. Combine higher power with higher efficiency projection and the results shouldn't be suprising.

    OEM LED low beam draw
    94660FAF-F8A6-4738-ABC5-844A1746D7AE.jpg

    As measured at 18', Morimoto vs OEM:
    452B2839-902B-4F79-939D-6156860F07F7.jpg

    German Philips H9s vs OEM:
    78C9D8A9-72BF-438F-B86C-6172D29D230E.jpg

    Based on initial testing, the OEM LEDs have excellent beam pattern distribution, they don't have the odd dark spots below the hot spot that Morimoto has or the less than ideal double cut off low hot spot, the OEM lights have appropriate uplight unlike Morimoto and they are higher in peak intensity output than Morimoto or a Philips H9 bulb swap. To further put the low beam performance in perspective, lux at 18' with the OEM LEDs is higher than the Xenon Depot brand HID swap, while being street legal without blinding glare.

    I still need to do the critical distance test to evaluate focus and high beam comparison tests, but initially these appear to be an outstanding performance lighting option.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  7. Aug 2, 2020 at 1:10 AM
    #2987
    Tacotoast

    Tacotoast Well-Known Member

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  8. Aug 2, 2020 at 3:16 AM
    #2988
    Rainoffire

    Rainoffire Well-Known Member

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    From the looks of it.
    It is already better than the Morimoto LED.

    Well, time to checkout.
     
    crashnburn80 [OP] and Tacospike like this.
  9. Aug 2, 2020 at 6:12 AM
    #2989
    StevoNB

    StevoNB Well-Known Member

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    Would you be able to look into how hot the OEM lights get next time you have them fired up? Wondering about their ability to melt snow and frost as I’m picking up a 2020 soon and am considering these lights.
     
  10. Aug 2, 2020 at 9:12 AM
    #2990
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I did take a FLIR thermal reading, they did have a little forward heat. I think it was about 10 degrees over ambient. I’ll be sure to capture the delta more specifically next time. Note in the image export the scale is not shown, this plot ranges from about 60-83 degrees, with ambient temp of about 69, so it isn’t as hot as one might think by looking at the image.

    294BB182-B847-465C-84B0-FB6BF34A139C.jpg
     
  11. Aug 2, 2020 at 2:09 PM
    #2991
    MikeyMcFly

    MikeyMcFly This is heavy, Doc.

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    Admittedly you might have posted this before and I missed it, but this might be one of the most interesting lines in this whole post. I had factory bulbs in my 2013 and always thought the headlights in that truck were oddly excellent (even compared to my STi which had OEM HID). I found the headlights in my 2016 to be ho-hum, which surprised me considering at the time I (incorrectly) assumed projectors were an upgrade.

    Your preliminary report is quite interesting and I'm excited to see the full report. I had to believe that the OEM would exceed the aftermarket options, and your report agreed. I've said it before, but I love your reports as they're strictly data with no angle. I've linked this post more than once across the interwebs when people blindly claim that drop-in LEDs are the end-all be all.
     
  12. Aug 2, 2020 at 2:22 PM
    #2992
    mynameistory

    mynameistory Well-Known Member

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    I link to this thread at least once a week from 4Runner groups and forums. It's weird to be an advocate for NOT spending money on flashy garbage, because people will rip you for it.
     
  13. Aug 2, 2020 at 2:24 PM
    #2993
    MikeyMcFly

    MikeyMcFly This is heavy, Doc.

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    I linked here once from the Corvette forum. I got torn a new one. I sometimes swear there isn't a dumber group of owners.
     
  14. Aug 2, 2020 at 2:35 PM
    #2994
    mynameistory

    mynameistory Well-Known Member

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    I got kicked out of Scott Fisher's (of Aiden James Customs shop) 4Runner group when I linked here. It also might have been because he sells HID kits that he claims are made by a company called "Philips Osram" and I called him out on it. :facepalm:
     
  15. Aug 2, 2020 at 3:49 PM
    #2995
    daveeasa

    daveeasa Well-Known Member

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    It’s my favorite part too. Not that I really care what anyone thinks about how I spend my money but I definitely don’t want to throw it away on stuff which actually sucks.

    There are quite a few trusted voices here,@crashnburn80 being a very important one. I must admit it took me several months of reading to feel comfortable with my understanding of the vast trove of information in these threads.

    I’m still struggling with that PRO etching though. Really struggling. Darn you Toyota. How hard would it have been to have an “OffRoad” etching?
     
    crashnburn80 [OP] likes this.
  16. Aug 2, 2020 at 4:10 PM
    #2996
    travadol

    travadol Well-Known Member

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    You can get the non-Pro ones that just have a marker light in its place. That'll be the option I go with. (Someday...)
     
  17. Aug 2, 2020 at 4:21 PM
    #2997
    daveeasa

    daveeasa Well-Known Member

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    I know. I struggled with the choices. The non pro doesn’t look right to me. Of course it’s all from photos. The Pro looks good just has one wrong word. Passenger side is for sure 100% better on the pro.
     
  18. Aug 2, 2020 at 11:00 PM
    #2998
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    See post #2143 here for some peak intensity comparison data between the Gens, the 2nd Gen headlights are over 50% higher in peak intensity stock than 3rd Gen. While the Philips H9 bulbs swap is an effective upgrade for 3rd Gen, it pales to the output levels achieved with bulb upgrades in 2nd Gen. Because back to optic basics, reflectors are more efficient and higher performing than projectors, and for reflectors (all other things being equal) larger reflectors are more efficient than smaller ones. The 2nd Gen reflectors are ridiculously massive. The comparison values in the charts are also all run at 13.8v, which is the voltage as measured at the headlight connector. But if running the 2nd Gen high performance headlight harness, voltage is +0.3v providing greater output numbers than the 2nd Gen charts account for.

    As to other forums/groups, quality certainly varies a lot, some are pretty awful. Lighting is a funny subject, as people are inherently ill-equipped to judge the subject. People inherently rate foreground light as better, because that is what people intrinsically like to feel safer. But a headlight doesn't work like that, foreground light should be limited and distance light should be maximized. If you look at the OEM headlights, they do an excellent job of this by keeping the intensity right up at the cut off. Excessive foreground light draws your eyes down from the light horizon, reduces night vision, and reduces light distance projection which reduces the distance you have to stop/maneuver once an obstacle is within your headlight range. Unfortunately this is what most drop in LEDs do. But this is also difficult to convince people once they use a poor headlight, have increased foreground light and say things like "I know what I see, and it is brighter". The foreground light is brighter, and that makes them feel better and its the type of light people like, but again that isn't how it is supposed to work. And this can be exceptionally frustrating to try an explain, especially to those unwilling to listen.

    It took a lot of work to bring science based lighting discipline to 3rd Gen, as the notion of "it is a projector, so you can run whatever you want and it will work fine" was pretty much the mentality. I don't have a 3rd Gen, but the rampant misinformation and marketing BS absolutely killed me as a lighting enthusiast. So eventually I decided to aggressively counter it with actual data and stamp out misinformation. I received extreme amounts of hate for pointing out the replacement LED flaws which people refused to believe, I am empathetic to the struggle. I'm honestly surprised I didn't get banned in some of the lighting holy wars that ensued. But when this very thread is referenced by literally the worlds top automotive lighting expert in an interview, I think we are doing a little more than ok.
     
  19. Aug 2, 2020 at 11:11 PM
    #2999
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I parked head to head with a 2020 with the non-Pro LEDs. The Pros definitely look better IMO. I'd leave it be, mount them, and know you have some bad ass high quality lights. Pro lights. :)
     
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  20. Aug 2, 2020 at 11:19 PM
    #3000
    travadol

    travadol Well-Known Member

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    My 2009 Forester XT had HID reflectors and the output was incredible (once pointed correctly). Plus I find manufacturers can be a little more creative with reflector headlights and aren't locked in to a circular design style. The 2020 LED Headlights are a great example of artistic design meeting lighting science. They look FANTASTIC, and nothing aftermarket compares. I've considered the AlphaRex/Morimoto options but I can't get over how busy they look with all the projectors.
     

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